Optimism: Your Best Ally
As humans, we face a variety of stressors in our daily lives, whether you’re battling chronic pain, personal and familial issues or even just the typical work routine. Unfortunately, stress can compound and begin to cause health problems both physically and mentally. Adopting an optimistic attitude can aid in the reduction of stress levels and contribute to better overall health. There are a number of things you can do to help ingrain a more positive outlook in daily life situations.
The key to optimistic thinking is not ignoring the negative aspects of life altogether, but facing them with a different attitude. By approaching stressful situations with a positive attitude, you are setting the foundation for a more productive and beneficial outcome. According to The Mayo Clinic, positive thinking begins with self-talk. ” Self-talk is the endless stream of unspoken thoughts that run through your head every day.” These thoughts can be of a positive or negative nature, and are derived from both logic and reason or misconceptions from a lack of information. An optimist is someone who’s self-talk is primarily positive rather than negative. These people experience more health benefits such as:
- Lower stress levels
- Increased life span
- Greater immune system efficiency
- Better psychological well-being
- Ability to cope with a variety of stressors
With such an array of benefits, it seems that thinking positive would be the only logical way to go about things but unfortunately it is easier said than done. To begin a transition to an optimistic viewpoint in life, use these tips:
- Try placing encouraging notes and messages around your house. Inspirational quotes can be strategically placed to give you a mental boost when necessary. For instance, leave one on your bathroom mirror about facing the day with your full potential for that extra boost in the morning.
- Take a hot bath if you are in pain. Baths have a calming effect which can help stimulate the senses. Additionally, the warm water helps dull pain throughout the body.
- Read and write. Reading and writing are both tremendous outlets for emotional and mental stress. For some, reading allows an escape from the rigors of life, while for others writing helps clear the mind.
- Talk to friends and family. Speaking with a good friend or family member is a great way to relieve anxiety and stress. Focus on positive subjects and reflect on the fortunate aspects of your life.
- Lead a healthy lifestyle. Maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly can help improve your cognitive and psychological function. It also helps to reduce stress which in turn enables you to adopt a more optimistic viewpoint.